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NEW DETAILS: WSU president wasn’t offered bonus, raise contrary to release stating she declined both

UPDATE @ 11:30 a.m.

Wright State University president Cheryl Schrader was not offered a raise or bonus on Monday by the school’s board of trustees following her one-year evaluation by a four-member executive committee.

A release issued earlier today from the university stated “Schrader would not accept” either for her work.

Clarifying the issue, WSU board chairman Doug Fecher, who said he helped write and review the release, said, “There was no vote taken and it wasn’t meant to imply that.”

The executive committee of the the WSU board of trustees, which included Fecher, former board chairman Michael Bridges, Anuj Goyal and Grace Ramo, met behind closed doors with Schrader on Monday to discuss an evaluation of her first-year performance. The committee cannot take action in executive sessions, meaning any action such as a vote for or against a raise for Schrader would need to be taken in a public session.

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Schrader was not offered a merit raise or bonus because of the university’s financial troubles, Fecher said. Last year, trustees slashed more than $30 million from Wright State’s fiscal year 2018 budget and another $10-million decline in revenue is expected over the coming year.

“There was no change in compensation offered and she agreed there should be no (additional) compensation offered,” Fecher said.

The Dayton Daily News requested public records about the evaluation and was told by the university there were no written documents from the meeting. Trustee Bruce Langos also said that he was not aware of a formally documented evaluation.

Fecher said the evaluation was more of a conversation. Fecher said he contacted trustees separately before the Monday meeting to get their opinion of Schrader’s performance and ideas for what she could improve upon.

Langos said he was “shocked” when he saw a release today that stated Schrader did not accept a raise or bonus, because it made it sound like the board offered her one.

Although the university may not be in a financial position to offer Schrader a raise, Langos said it’s something the entire board should have discussed and voted on publicly.

“I don’t think any laws were broken but I don’t think the rules or the bylaws (of the board) were followed because the bylaws require that things like this require (a vote). And we didn’t take a vote,” Langos said.

The Ohio Open Meetings Act states that members of a public body are required to “discuss and deliberate on official business only in open meetings.” How Wright State’s board handled Schrader’s evaluation falls into a “gray area” of the law, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“Our advice is always consult your legal counsel in such a gray area and then decide whether they would be comfortable defending that or not,” Tierney said.

INITIAL REPORT

Wright State University president Cheryl Schrader will not take a raise or bonus for her first year in office because of the financial difficulties still facing the school.

Schrader and the WSU board of trustees have agreed that given the university’s budget issues, she should not accept a raise or bonus though her contract permits both, according to a press release from the university.

» RELATED: Wright State president cut $50M in first year, kept eye on future

Schrader’s base pay is $425,000 and she is eligible for a 25 percent bonus of $106,250 annually, according to her contract. She was also eligible for a merit raise of an unspecified amount, according to her contract.

Wright State is still in the midst of correcting years of overspending that drained the university’s reserves and forced its leaders to make a number of tough decisions.

In June 2017, trustees slashed more than $30 million from Wright State’s fiscal year 2018 budget and another $10-million decline in revenue is expected in the coming year. Just last week, the university announced it would begin issuing layoff notices to around 26 employees.

Schrader met with the WSU board of trustees Monday for an evaluation of her first year in office.

This news organization submitted a public records request to the university for a copy of Schrader’s evaluation. But, in an email Wednesday, spokesman Seth Bauguess said there was no documentation of the president’s evaluation.

» RELATED: Wright State to start issuing layoff notices to 26 employees

Schrader took office on July 1, 2017 after signing a five-year contract in March 2017. The contract includes a possible two-year extension, according to a copy of it provided by the university.

Schrader received $54,000 in deferred compensation over her first year. She and her family were also able to receive up to $42,500 to relocate to the Dayton area from Rolla, Missouri, according to her contract.

Schrader’s receives $36,000 annually for housing and a $12,000 allowance for her car, gas and car insurance, according to her contract. The university has also offered to reimburse her up to $10,000 for a country club membership.

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